Sano Gaku (Kazuraba Kouta/Kamen Rider Gaim) and Kobayashi Yutaka (Kumon Kaito/Kamen Rider Baron) talk about hanging out, what rivalry means, and what they’d like to see in the show in this interview from S.H.T. Winter 2014!
Sano Gaku (Kazuraba Kouta) x Kobayashi Yutaka (Kumon Kaito)
SPECIAL TALK 001
Do you feel like you’ve known each other forever?
Kobayashi: Even way before starting this, I’d met Gakkun (Sano) countless times at events and things. When we were chosen for “Kamen Rider Gaim” and met for that, it was like “You’re the Gakkun from that, right?” “You’re the Yuta (Yutaka) from that, right?” “Yay!” (laughs). We naturally didn’t overdo it or feel too awkward together, so it really felt like we had been friends since forever.
Sano: I’m originally from Nagoya, and so is Yuta, so we act similarly enough that people asked us “Have you been friends for a while?” and we’d be like “No, we’ve only really known each other for 4 months but” (laughs). It was a chance to become good friends. But in the few months we’ve spent filming together, my impression of Yuta is….. “girl” (laughs).
Kobayashi: Ahahaha! (laughs)
Sano: Because he loves sweets, and goes around calling everything “cute, cute”. He’s a person like a flower garden. But he’s clever, so when he starts acting, his character completely changes. On TV he’s always acting, and it’s such an aloof character, so at first it was kind of complicated (laughs). I wonder if people who just watch “Gaim” would be confused. For instance, if they went to see him doing his “BOYS AND MEN” thing, where he’s totally in idol mode, and sparkling way more than normal, and some kid shouted “Baron!”, and then be like “Eh? Mom, that’s not Baron!”, I think (laughs).
Kobayashi: You said it well (laughs). Gakkun, from my point of view, is completely natural. He doesn’t build himself up too much, but he’s himself no matter who he’s with, and he’s really amazing when he meets people, I think.
Sano: Don’t embarrass me (laughs). It’s not embarrassing for you to praise me this much?
Kobayashi: Ahahaha. Well, you’re also an unexpectedly spoiled yet lonely guy.
Sano: Yeah, I really hate being alone~.
Kobayashi: He won’t say anything during filming, but after I’m already done and chilling at home he’ll be like “Yuta, let’s go out, where are you” and call me immediately. “You should’ve said something earlier!” I think (laughs).
Sano: And if we do go out, I talk the who~le time, right.
Kobayashi: It’s really like a girls night out (laughs). When I’m all girly and say things like “I wanna eat sweets!”, it’s party time, right?
Sano: Yuta calls some interesting things party time. He’ll say “I’ll make you some delicious things”, we’ll both go to the supermarket, and then he’ll look all cheery while pushing around the cart. “How cute can you be!?” (laughs).
Kobayashi: I get really energized going to the supermarket. It’s the most fun place.
Sano: “The supermarket is the most fun place”, he says. You really are a mom.
Kobayashi: Every day and every place will have different things, so I have a lot of fun imagining things like “Today there’s this new fish, so let’s make this.” When I’m alone there’s no comparisons to make, but when I’m with someone I can’t help but get fired up (laughs).
Is there anything deeper to the rivals that you two play?
Sano: Ah, yeah, this was a rival talk, wasn’t it (laughs).
Kobayashi: But even though we’re such good friends, we don’t forget that we’re rivals when we’re in our roles. Rivals aren’t people who conflict with each other, but people who reach the top together, I think.
Sano: Yeah, rivals are kind of made up of people who mutually recognize each other, and don’t want to lose to each other, and become each other’s reason to put the effort in, I think. “I don’t want that guy to do better than me, he’s my rival” kind of thing, not just plain hatred, I think.
When I watch Yuta’s performance, there are times where I feel frustrated, but because of that, I don’t want to lose to it, and can do my best. If we always overlap like that, and we don’t stop doing our best, we’ll both make progress, and then the performance only gains more life and a variety of good things happen, I think.
Kobayashi: And because we know each other so well, we start absorbing each other’s good points and rise a level, and on the flipside if you don’t have that understanding you can’t call each other rivals. If you don’t pay any attention to the other, just thinking “I’ll be better than he is”, it turns into the turtle and hare situation, where you’ll just entirely miss each other, and the gears won’t even turn.
Sano: For instance, since I don’t want to lose to Yuta’s modest or serious sides, I end up following his example. On the other hand, I live through my senses, and I notice or pay attention to a lot of things that he just doesn’t. But if he was perfect, or boring, I think I’d be in trouble. Having such a dependable person like Yuta with me, I get to be a little more free (laughs).
Kobayashi: Well, on the other side of that, I guess I can say that I “don’t want to lose to Gakkun in supporting people!” (laughs). As the leading man, Gakkun pulls the cast with him. When he pulls me, I’m able to put 100%, even 120% in, he’s a really good support!
You’re aiming for…
Sano: Right now, in filming, we’re slowly building up tension with all the riders, so at some point I’d be happy if I could have some sort of fun confrontation scene with Kaito. “It’s summer vacation! Yay!” kind of thing, maybe going to a camp. If we go to a beach, maybe Kaito’s got the cottage next door, and he’s playing tennis. “Why are you here.” “What, you wanna go!?” and then they have a tennis battle.
Kobayashi: Like a comedy skit? (laughs)
Sano: When rivals break their rivalry, their friendship deepens…. but that’s just something I want to play around with (laughs).
Koyabashi: I want to try something where we have to collaborate and fight together. Fighting against Bravo together, or better, playing the Gridon and Kurokage collaboration against Kaito and Kouta. Then the pair gets on horses and woosh! over, kick! sort of, and both of them attack! ….well, I just want to do horse stuff (laughs).
Sano: Eh, that’s alright? (laughs)
Kobayashi: ….it’s pushing it, but (laughs).
Sano: There’s nothing happier than viewers, when asked “Who has the best rival relationship?”, first think of “Gaim and Baron!” Urobochi Gen-san, the writer, has entrusted everything to the episode directors, and I want to make sure that everything that Urobochi-san and the directors have painted will 100% come through! I feel that way, and I think that it will come through to the viewers as well. Yeah, with the two of us, it’ll be alright!
Translated for Kitarin.
Thanks to motomimost for providing the scans!